2022 Ewart-Daveluy Award

The ISC/SCI will not be presenting the Ewart-Daveluy Indexing Award this year. While the committee is pleased with the number of submissions and the diversity of trade and scholarly books, we agreed unanimously that none of the indexes reach the level of excellence that merits the award.

All of the indexes do some things well. Specifically, most of the indexes are clearly structured and easy to navigate, include multiple and relevant access points, are clearly worded, and accurately map the contents of the text. These are qualities we expect in all professional indexes. All of these criteria and more are listed on the ISC/SCI website.

What we are looking for is that elusive quality of elegance. Elegance is that sense that there is an unusual clarity, a memorable ease of use, a succinctness, or even a strikingly simple presentation of difficult ideas. Another view of indexing elegance appears in the criteria for the ASI Excellence in Indexing Award: “Succinctness; the right word in the right place—even if the word isn’t found in the text; a certain ‘charm’; visual appeal; a sense that the index contains exactly what it needs to, no more, no less; simplicity; grace.”

We encourage indexers to strive for elegance. Take the extra time to go over the index once more. Tighten up the phrasing; search for the precise word, and imagine what readers might look for that you have not included. The index does not need to be perfect, but it does need to stand out. Give your index that final polish to make it shine!

Next year we will begin again to look for an elegant index. As you write indexes this year, look for that index that is almost there, the one that needs a bit more care, and then consider giving it the extra polish so that you can send it when submissions open in the fall.

Thank you to those who submitted indexes. As mentioned in the submission form, we will send summaries of our comments and suggestions.

Ewart-Daveluy Award Submissions: Deadline Extended to March 10

Thinking of submitting for an award? You have more time!

We have extended the deadline to March 10, 2021 to send the nomination form. Last year we had a record number of applications, and we hope to have even more this year.

It has never been easier to apply. The submission costs $30. You will need to send a PDF of the published book, and if you wish, you may also submit the documents you sent to your publisher. The award is open to Canadians and residents of Canada, and the book must have been published in 2019 or 2020.

Feedback will be provided to up to three runners-up. Our committee of five experienced indexers will work together to identify index features that shine and those that need a bit more polishing. This year, our guest reviewer is Kate Mertes, a frequent conference speaker and two-time winner of the ASI indexing award.

You have lots to gain. If you win, you can feel more confident in your skills. And if you don’t win, you are very likely to get expert feedback to help you become an even better indexer.

Learn more about the award process and guidelines.

Start 2021 with a Ewart-Daveluy Indexing Award Submission

Members, signal a change for 2021 by finding the best of your work of 2020 and submitting it for the Ewart-Daveluy Indexing Award. Give yourself something good to remember about this difficult year! Deadline is Monday, February 22, 2021.

In 2020, we had a record number of quality applications, so many, we had two winners. So, keep the applications coming.

Think back on the year to that index that carried you away — not necessarily the most complex material, but a book that presented a particular challenge to you as the indexer. One that inspired you to analyze with great efficiency of space, or extreme simplicity as you knew the material would be sought under stress, or creativity because of the author’s unusual presentation. Or one where you think you got it all right

Last year was the first year for the online application. It’s never been easier. You don’t need a hard copy — a PDF of the book with the index is enough. The submission costs $30 and we provide feedback for up to three runners-up. That’s feedback from three experienced indexers.

Show us how you creatively overcame challenges, resulting in an outstanding, well-structured, easy-to-navigate, clear and comprehensive guide for all of its users. And if you think, “No way — I’m too new at this!” Let us point out that one of the 2020 award-winners, Carla DeSantis, had only written one other index. She was hoping for the feedback. The other winner, Anna Olivier, indexing since 2009, submitted a French text. That was a first for the award.

Give us a challenge. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Maybe you’ll get the prize (which won’t happen if you don’t apply). And if not, you’re very likely to get expert confidential feedback. That’s worth a lot.